Denver’s Trevor Baptiste went 20-for-23 in faceoffs and scored a goal to lead the Pioneers to victory in Providence. Photo Credit: DU Athletics file photo.
The #2 ranked Denver Pioneer men’s lacrosse team set a school record with 13 different scorers, en-route to a lopsided 17-7 Big East victory over Providence College. The Pios’ romp further dampened the Friars’ new Anderson Stadium Dedication Day in rainy Providence, R.I. on April 23. The Denver win over PC, when coupled with top-ranked Notre Dame’s 17-15 April 23 loss to North Carolina, means that DU should move up to a #1 national ranking on Monday, April 25 when the newest polls are released.
The Pioneers made some locker room adjustments at half time to blow open a close 6-5 first half DU lead, turning the Providence game into a rout. The 11-2 second half DU goal scoring run that followed lifted the Pioneers to 11-1 on the 2016 season, and kept DU spotless at 4-0 against all Big East opponents this year, as well as unbeaten in league play over the last three seasons since joining the league in 2014.
Providence fell to 7-7 and was led by Senior Will Mazzone’s hat-trick.
Pioneer Trevor Baptiste went 20-for-23 at the faceoff ‘x’ and picked up 11 ground balls to lead the Pioneers possession game, which rarely allowed the Friars to generate sustained offensive possessions, especially in the second half.
The possession imbalance for Denver, coupled with a shutdown defensive performance, kept PC scoreless in in the second half until late in the fourth quarter. The 11-2 second half run also enabled the Pioneers to run many reserve players into the game to help balance out the scoring.
The other key for Denver was the man-up unit, who shook off some recent sputters to fire-in three goals in four opportunities on the day. Sophomore Brendan Bomberry extended his national lead in man-up goals (10) for the Pioneers, scoring two of the three DU man-up tallies. Bomberry’s hat trick led all Denver goal scorers. Connor Cannizzaro and Colton Jackson also each chipped in with a pair of goals for the Pioneers, and DU goalie Alex Ready had an excellent day in the nets with 12 saves to keep the Friars at bay.
The Pioneers will finally return home to Denver over the next two, and possibly three weekends. Denver will close-out the Big East regular season on its Senior Day against #11 Marquette (also 4-0 Big East) next Saturday at 1 pm MT (CBS Sports Network) for the Big East regular season title, followed by hosting the Big East Tournament in Denver the following week, with the winner of that tournament securing the NCAA auto-bid for the Big East. Should the Pioneers run the table over the next two weeks, they would also host a first-round NCAA Game in mid-May.